In order to study weight concerns and eating disorders in women tennis players, 107 women tennis players and 26 women’s tennis coaches from colleges across the U.S. responded to questionnaires relating to weight concern, body image, and abnormal eating. When evaluating drawings of female figures, players and coaches both considered the ideal body shape to be smaller than the healthiest one. Most players had normal weight, eating habits, and self-esteem; however, they also exhibited noticeable concern about their weight and appearance. Coaches revealed only moderate knowledge of weight related issues, believed such knowledge to be important, recognized that most of their players were of normal weight, and revealed somewhat negative feelings about overweight people. Players and coaches shared a healthy attitude toward tennis. The results of this study do not imply that college women tennis players are at greater risk of eating disorders than other young women, nor that college coaches are encouraging abnormal eating behaviors.
Joy Griffin and Mary B. Harris
In this study, two groups of sport psychologists (N = 107) were surveyed six years apart to (a) identify sources of stress and rate the intensity of selected stressors, (b) investigate gender and other demographic variables associated with stress, and (c) determine if level of stress had changed over time. Self-reported stressors included time demands, interpersonal interactions, role conflict, limited resources, credibility, marketing/business issues, lack of support, professional isolation, politics, research, teaching loads, ethical issues, job security, and family demands. Time demands and institutional policies were rated as most stressful. Both gender and tenure status were related to stress, but age, years of experience, and number of hours worked per day did not correlate with intensity of stress. Based upon respondents’ beliefs and a comparison of the two samples we concluded that stress has increased over time.
Mary B. Harris and Joy Griffin
In order to assess their cultural stereotypes and personal beliefs about women physical education teachers, we surveyed 196 individuals attending the 1995 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) convention. Respondents felt that most Americans stereotyped women physical educators as masculine, aggressive, athletic, lesbian, and unintellectual. Their personal views were less extreme. Some differences in personal beliefs were found between men and women, and between lesbians, heterosexual men and heterosexual women. Occupation, age, and education were not importantly related to stereotyping. Open ended questions revealed both positive and negative aspects of physical education as a profession for women. Based upon the continued existence of some negative stereotypes, coupled with the low status of women physical educators, we suggest that the profession needs to increase its educational efforts and its appreciation of diversity.
Mary B. Harris and Debbie Greco
Joy Griffin and Mary B. Harris
Because of a higher than normal incidence of pathogenic weight-loss techniques and eating disorders in athletes, 274 coaches were surveyed to discover their attitudes, knowledge, personal experiences, and recommendations regarding weight control. Coaches demonstrated relatively negative attitudes toward and limited knowledge about obesity, with a few gender and ethnic differences. They tended to make decisions about the need for weight control on the basis of appearance rather than objective indicators, and they saw more females as needing to lose weight and more males as needing to gain. Although a majority of the coaches had tried to lose weight themselves, some using dangerous weight-control techniques, they did not recommend such techniques to their athletes. Nevertheless, it is possible that their obvious concern about weight may have been interpreted by their athletes as encouragement for using pathogenic weight-loss methods.
Settar Koçak, Mary B. Harris, Ayşe Kin İşler and Şeref Çiçek
This study examined physical activity level, sport participation, and parental education level in 333 female and 359 male Turkish junior high school students. Student’s physical activity level, sport participation, and parental education level were determined by a questionnaire with three sections. Independent samples t-test results revealed higher physical activity level and chi-square results indicated higher sport participation for boys when compared with girls. In addition significant negative correlations have been found between MET values and father and mother education for the total sample and for female students; however, negative correlations between MET values and parental education were not significant for boys.